CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
“Father, this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God and your messenger Jesus Christ” (Jn 17: 3). “God our Savior … wants all men to be saved and to come to the full knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim 2: 3-4). “There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we are to be saved” (Acts 4:12), but the name of JESUS
I THE LIFE OF MAN: KNOWING AND LOVING GOD
1 God, infinitely Perfect and Blessed in himself, in a design of pure goodness has freely created man to have part in his blessed life. That is why, at all times and in all places, it is close to man. He calls him and helps him to seek him, to know him and to love him with all his might. He summons all men, whom sin dispersed, to the unity of his family, the Church. He does this through his Son who sent as Redeemer and Savior when the fullness of time comes. In Him and through Him, he calls men to be, in the Holy Spirit, their adopted children, and therefore the heirs of their blessed life.
2 For this call to resound in all the earth, Christ sent the apostles whom he had chosen, giving them the command to proclaim the Gospel: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, even to the end of the age “(Mt 28: 19-20). Strengthened by this mission, the apostles “went out to preach everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the Word with the signs that accompanied it” (Mk 16:20).
3 Those who, with the help of God, have accepted the call of Christ and responded freely to it, feel for their part urged by the love of Christ to proclaim the Good News everywhere in the world. This treasure received from the apostles has been faithfully kept by their successors. All the faithful of Christ are called to transmit it from generation to generation, proclaiming the faith, living it in fraternal communion and celebrating it in the liturgy and in prayer.
II TRANSMIT FAITH: CATECHESIS
4 Catechesis was soon called to all the efforts made in the Church to make disciples, to help men to believe that Jesus is the Son of God so that, by faith, they may have life in his name, and to educate and instruct them in this life and thus to build the Body of Christ.
5 Catechesis is an education in the faith of children, young people and adults, which especially includes a teaching of Christian doctrine, generally given in an organic and systematic way with a view to initiating them in the fullness of the Christian life. “
6 Without being confused with them, catechesis is articulated within a number of elements of the pastoral mission of the Church, which have a catechetical aspect, which are prepared for or derived from catechesis: first proclamation of the Gospel or missionary preaching to arouse faith; search for reasons to believe; experience of Christian life: celebration of the sacraments; integration in the ecclesial community; apostolic and missionary witness.
7 Catechesis is closely linked to the whole life of the Church. Not only the geographical extent and the numerical increase of the Church, but also and even more its interior growth, its correspondence with the design of God depends essentially on it. “
8 The periods of renewal of the Church are also times of catechesis. Thus, in the great age of the Fathers of the Church, we see holy bishops devote an important part of their ministry to catechesis. It is the time of St. Cyril of Jerusalem and of St. John Chrysostom, of St. Ambrose and of St. Augustine, and of many other Fathers whose catechetical works continue to be models.
9 The ministry of catechesis draws new energies from the councils. In this regard, the Council of Trent is a worthy example: it gave catechesis a priority in its constitutions and decrees; of him was born the Roman Catechism which also bears his name and which constitutes a work of the first order as a summary of Christian doctrine; this Council aroused in the Church a remarkable organization of catechesis; he promoted, thanks to holy bishops and theologians such as St. Peter Canisius, St. Charles Borromeo, St. Toribio of Mogrovejo, St. Robert Bellarmine, the publication of numerous catechisms.
10 It is not surprising, therefore, that in the dynamism of the Second Vatican Council (which Pope Paul VI regarded as the great catechism of modern times), the catechesis of the Church has once again attracted attention. The “General Directory of Catechesis” of 1971, the sessions of the Synod of Bishops devoted to evangelization (1974) and catechesis (1977), the corresponding apostolic exhortations “Evangelii nuntiandi” (1975) and “Catechesi tradendae” ( 1979), bear witness to this. The extraordinary session of the 1985 Synod of Bishops called for “a catechism or compendium of all Catholic doctrine, both on faith and on morals,” to be written. The Holy Father, John Paul II, endorsed this wish issued by the Synod of Bishops, recognizing that it “fully responds to a true need of the universal Church and of the particular Churches.” The Pope arranged everything necessary for the realization of the request of the Synod Fathers
897 “By the laity all Christians are understood here, except the members of the sacred order and of the religious state recognized in the Church. They are Christians who are incorporated into Christ by baptism, who form the People of God and who they participate in the functions of Christ: Priest, Prophet and King. They fulfill, according to their condition, the mission of all the Christian people in the Church and in the world “(LG 31).
The vocation of the laity
898 “The laity have as their own vocation to seek the Kingdom of God by taking care of the temporal realities and ordering them according to God … To them, in a special way, it is incumbent upon them to enlighten and order all the temporal realities to which they are closely united, so that they may become according to Christ, develop and be to the praise of the Creator and Redeemer “(LG 31).
899 The initiative of lay Christians is particularly necessary when it comes to discovering or devising means for the demands of Christian doctrine and life to permeate social, political and economic realities. This initiative is a normal element of the life of the Church:
The lay faithful are in the most advanced line of the life of the Church; for them the Church is the vital principle of society. Therefore, they must especially have a clearer and clearer conscience not only of belonging to the Church, but of being the Church; that is, the community of the faithful on earth under the guidance of the common Head, the Pope, and the Bishops in communion with him. They are the Church (Pius XII, speech February 20, 1946, quoted by John Paul II, CL 9).
900 Like all the faithful, the laity are entrusted by God to the apostolate in virtue of baptism and confirmation, and for this reason they have the obligation and are entitled individually or grouped in associations to work so that the divine message of salvation may be known and received by all men and in all the earth; this obligation is all the more compelling when it is only through them that other men can hear the Gospel and know Christ. In the ecclesial communities, their action is so necessary that, without it, the apostolate of the pastors can not obtain its full efficacy in most cases (cf. LG 33).
The participation of the laity in the priestly mission of Christ
901 “The laity, who are consecrated to Christ and anointed by the Holy Spirit, are marvelously called and prepared to always produce the most abundant fruits of the Spirit. Indeed, all their works, prayers, apostolic tasks, conjugal and family life, work daily, spiritual and corporal rest, if they are performed in the Spirit, even the annoyances of life, if they are carried away with patience, all this becomes spiritual sacrifices pleasing to God by Jesus Christ, which they offer with all pity to God the Father in the celebration of the Eucharist by uniting them to the offering of the body of the Lord, so that the laity, as worshipers everywhere who conduct themselves in a healthy manner, consecrate the world to God “(LG 34) .
902 In particular, parents participate in the mission of sanctification “permeating the conjugal life with Christian spirit and seeking the Christian education of the children” (CIC, 835, 4).
903 The laity, if they have the qualities required, can be admitted in a stable way to the ministries of readers and acolytes (see CIC, can 230, 1). “Where the need of the Church is advisable and there are no ministers, lay people, even if they are not readers or acolytes, may supply them in some of their functions, that is, exercise the ministry of the word, preside over liturgical prayers, baptism and give Holy Communion, according to the prescriptions of the law “(CIC, can 230, 3).
Their participation in the prophetic mission of Christ
904 “Christ … performs his prophetic function … not only through hierarchy … but also through the laity. He makes them his witnesses and gives them the sense of faith and the grace of the word “(LG 35). Teaching someone to bring them to faith is the task of every preacher and even of every believer (St. Thomas, STH III, 71. 4 ad 3).
905 The laity also fulfill their prophetic mission by evangelizing, with “the proclamation of Christ communicated with the witness of life and of the word”. In the laity, this evangelization “acquires a specific note and a particular efficacy by the fact that it is performed in the general conditions of our world” (LG 35):
This apostolate does not consist only in the witness of life; the true apostolate seeks occasions to proclaim Christ with his word, both to non-believers … and to the faithful (AA 6, AG 15).
906 The lay faithful who are capable of this and who are trained for this can also collaborate in catechetical formation (cf. CIC, 774, 776, 780), in the teaching of the sacred sciences (CIC, can. 229), in the mass media (see CIC, can. 823, 1).
907 “They have the right, and sometimes even the duty, by reason of their own knowledge, competence and prestige, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their opinion on that which belongs to the good of the Church and to manifest it to the other faithful, the integrity of faith and customs, and reverence for the Shepherds, in view of the common usefulness and dignity of persons (CCC, 212, 3).
Their participation in the real mission of Christ
908 By his obedience unto death (cf. Phil 2: 8-9), Christ communicated to his disciples the gift of royal freedom, “that they might conquer in themselves, with proper renunciation and a holy life, to the kingdom of sin “(LG 36).
He who subdues his own body and dominates his soul, without being carried away by the passions, is the master of himself: He can be called king because he is able to govern his own person; He is free and independent and does not allow himself to be captivated by guilty slavery (St. Ambrose, Ps 118, 14, 30: PL 15, 1403A).
909 “The laity also, together with their forces, are to cleanse the structures and conditions of the world, so that if some of their customs incite to sin, all of them conform to the norms of justice and favor instead of impeding the practice of the virtues. “In doing so, all culture and human achievements will permeate moral values” (LG 36).
910 “Lay people can also feel called to be called to collaborate with their Pastors in the service of the ecclesial community, for the growth and life of the Church, exercising very different ministries according to the grace and charisms that the Lord wants to grant them” ( EN 73).
911 In the Church, “the lay faithful can cooperate according to the law in the exercise of the power of government” (CIC, can 129, 2). Thus, with their presence in the particular Councils (can. 443, 4), the diocesan Synods (can. in the exercise of the pastoral task of a parish (Canon 517, 2); collaboration in the Councils of Economic Affairs (can 492, 1, 536); participation in ecclesiastical tribunals (can. 1421, 2), etc.
912 The faithful must “learn to distinguish carefully between the rights and duties they have as members of the Church and those who belong to them as members of human society.” They must strive to integrate them in good harmony, remembering that in any temporal matter they must No human activity, even in temporal matters, can escape the sovereignty of God “(LG 36).
913 “Thus every layman, by the mere fact of having received his gifts, is at the same time a witness and living instrument of the mission of the Church itself ‘according to the measure of the gift of Christ'” (LG 33).
The Catholic Church
The Lord Jesus instituted his one Catholic Church to continue the redemption and reconciliation of men to the end of the world. He gave his Apostles their divine powers to preach the Gospel, to sanctify men and to rule them in order to eternal salvation.
That is why the Catholic Church is the only true one founded by Jesus Christ on St. Peter and the Apostles; and all men are called to be the People of God guided by the Pope, who is the successor of St. Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth.
The Catholic Church is also the Mystical Body of Christ, because, as in a human body, Christ is the Head, the baptized are the members of this body and the Holy Spirit is the soul that unites us with His grace and sanctifies us. This is why the Church is also the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
In its visible aspect the Church is made up of the baptized who profess the same faith in Jesus Christ, have the same sacraments and commandments, and accept the authority established by the Lord, who is the Pope.
These faithful, through Baptism, become partakers of the priestly, prophetic and real function of Christ.
Who founded the Church?
The Church was founded by our Lord Jesus Christ.
How did Jesus begin the foundation of the Church?
Jesus began the foundation of the Church with the preaching of the Kingdom of God, calling from among the disciples who followed the twelve Apostles, and naming Peter the Chief of all of them.
Can the true Church be recognized today?
Yes, today we can recognize the true Church by seeing if it has as Founder Jesus Christ, if it participates in the seven sacraments, if it loves the Blessed Virgin Mary and if it obeys the Pope. If you lack something of this, it is not the true Church.
What is the mission of the Church?
The mission of the Church is the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ: to carry out the plan of salvation of God over men.
What powers has Jesus given to the Church to fulfill this mission?
To fulfill this mission, Jesus has given the Church the power to teach his doctrine to all people, to sanctify them with his grace and to guide them with authority.
What are the properties and notes that Christ entrusted to His Church?
The properties and notes that Christ conferred on his Church are four: one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
Who are the faithful Christians?
The Christian faithful are those who, incorporated into Christ by Baptism, are integrated into the People of God and are made partakers in their own way of the priestly, prophetic and real function of Christ to fulfill the mission of the Church in the world.
Are all the faithful called to holiness and apostolate?
Yes, all the faithful are called to holiness and apostolate, whatever their condition, by the very fact of having received Baptism and Confirmation.
Who is the supreme Shepherd and invisible Head of the Church?
The supreme pastor and invisible Head of the Church is Jesus Christ.
Who is the dad?
The pope is the successor of St. Peter, the Vicar of Christ on earth and the visible Head of the Church.
Can the Pope make a mistake in matters of faith and customs?
No, the Pope can not be mistaken when he defines doctrine in matters of faith and customs, as the supreme teacher of the whole Church, thanks to a special assistance of the Holy Spirit.
What should the faithful do when the Pope and the bishops propose a teaching through their ordinary teaching?
When the Pope and the bishops propose a teaching by means of their ordinary magisterium, the faithful must adhere to it in a spirit of religious obedience.
Who are the bishops?
The Bishops are the successors of the Apostles, who have received the fullness of the priesthood and have the mission to govern their dioceses united to the Pope.
Who are the priests?
Priests or priests are those faithful who, through priestly ordination, participate sacramentally in the Priesthood of Christ, being co-workers of the bishops to preach the Gospel, administer the sacraments and bring God to the faithful entrusted to them.
Who are the laity?
The laity are those faithful who, by divine vocation, are destined to seek the Kingdom of God, treating and ordering temporal things according to the will of God.
Do the laity participate in the functions of Christ?
Yes, the laity participate in the functions of Christ, who is Priest, Prophet and King.
Where are they to seek holiness and lay the apostolate?
Lay people must seek holiness and exercise the apostolate in the midst of the world, in their ordinary secular life: in the exercise of their work and in the family.
Who gives the laity the right and duty to do apostolate?
God himself, through Baptism and Confirmation, gives the laity the right and duty to do apostolate and to sanctify the world, both individually and grouped together in associations.
Can the laity be called to collaborate with their pastors in the ecclesial service?
Lay people can be called to collaborate with their pastors in very different ministries, according to the grace and charism that the Lord wants to grant them, but taking into
says that his own mission in the Church is the transformation of the temporal order as part of what we know as “Evangelization of Culture.”
What is meant by consecrated life?
Consecrated life is understood as the way of life which is characterized by the consecration of one’s life by the profession of commitments – usually called “evangelical counsels” – of poverty, chastity and obedience, in a stable and celibate common life recognized by Church.
Who belongs to the state of consecrated life?
Consecrated persons belong to the state of consecrated life, members of secular institutes, and new societies of common life, whose evolution in the life of the Church resembles a wonderful tree and full of branches, from a seed laid by God in his Church.